Summary: Only Jesus can bring inner peace and harmony to our lives.
Peace, the Gift of God’s Love Isa. 26:1-4
INTRO.: Few will argue with the statement peace is one of man’s constant quests in this life. We’ve tried many ways to achieve peace, even going to war.
Yet, all our efforts seem futile and the world is armed and ready for war. We are engaged in a worldwide war on terror. It seems there are those who actually prefer war to peace. They promote their ideas through violence and gain their wealth by force.
We have failed to gain peace through all our human efforts because we haven’t turned to God and sought His will. In reality, all we want is an armed truce, not peace. We just want people to stop bombing and trying to destroy us. All our human efforts are aimed at nothing more than an armed truce.
God has something better to offer. The Christian has a promise of perfect peace not based on outward circumstances.
John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you"
Jn. 16:33 - "These things have I spoken unto you that you might have peace."
Rom. 5:1 - "since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Gal. 5:22 - "The fruit of the Spirit is peace."
Phil. 4:7 - "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
True peace comes to the soul from God through Christ.
I. There are several conditions that make us yearn for peace:
A. Inner conflict:
1. We do what we don’t want to and know we ought not to do. Rom. 7:19
2. We are often at cross purposes with ourselves and hear it said "He is his own worst enemy."
3. The conflict is between our emotions and our intellect.
4. We could be at peace if we could just achieve inner harmony.
5. God Himself is exempt from such struggle. In His mind, there is only perfect peace. He alone is qualified to give us perfect peace.
B. Anxiety about the future:
1. It’s hard to find peace when we don’t know what tomorrow ill bring. It’s human to worry.
2. We are anxious about sickness, death, poverty, our families, etc. because we don’t know the future.
3. It would be nice if life were like a movie we’ve seen once. Knowing the ending, we watch it without anxiety.
4. Peace is knowing everything will work out in the end.
5. God has that perfect peace because He know the end from the beginning.
C. Our sense of guilt:
1. A guilty conscience is a great disturber of peace.
2. Great conflict results from trying to defend or cover up a sin. Sometimes we even become violent.
3. If one knows he is right, no one can disturb his peace unless they manage to plant a little doubt.
4. Peace is knowing you are always right.
5. God is always right. He has never suffered from a guilty conscience.
D. The presence of hate or fear disturbs our peace:
1. No peace comes from holding a grudge and seeking ways to avenge yourself.
2. There is no peace if we are insecure.
3. ILLUS.: after experiencing a hurricane, I installed deadbolt locks on my doors. They wouldn’t protect against a hurricane, but they seemed to relieve my heightened sense of insecurity.
4. Peace means loving everyone and knowing they love you.
5. Harboring no fear or hatred, God enjoys perfect peace.
II. There is an inner peace for God’s people: Phil. 4:7
A. Christ is our perfect example even at the tomb of Lazarus Jn. 11:42, 43
1. :he is completely confident and at peace, even though He mourns with those He loves.
2. He can sleep on a boat in a storm because He has confidence in God.
3. Even on trial for His life, He is calm before the judges, mob.
4. His birth was a promise of "peace on earth".
5. Certainly, His peace is enviable.
B. He offers to share His peace with us:
1. Peace is for the spiritually minded: Rom. 8:6
2. God can harmonize the warring elements in our personality.
3. He calls us to a higher view and victory to come.
4. Removes sin and guilt through forgiveness.
5. He teaches us the true meaning of love and sheds love into our hearts.
6. He teaches us, provides an example, and empowers us to live for Him.
7. In return, He asks for trust, submission, obedience.
C. Christian peace comes through faith: Rom. 5:1
1. Peace WITH God must come before peace FROM God and before the peace OF God can rule in our hearts.
2. We may never know complete peace in this life, but there are foretastes that make the quest worthwhile.